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What do you think of when you hear the name Mercedes-Benz? It probably evokes images of luxury and affluence, right? You probably think you would have to spend a small fortune on getting a great MB. But the truth is that you do not have to throw your entire life savings at MB to get a great vehicle.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is a prime example of this. This line-up starts at around $53,000 and tops off at around $62,000, not including any extra add-on features or packages. That probably seems pretty reasonable for a luxury SUV. And it is totally worth the cost.
The GLE-Class is freshly redesigned for the model year. So, what is new on the 2020 GLE-Class? The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system is totally new, and its voice controls strongly resemble Alexa and Siri - which is a good thing. The 12.3-inch touchscreen is new and responds properly to touches and commands. The video-based navigation system is one new option that you will definitely want to add on since its illustrations of directions are so clear.
Another major change is the addition of a third row. This means you can seat up to seven people in the GLE-Class. Every row of seats is remarkably comfortable, even the new third row.
The ride and handling qualities are also better this year thanks to some clever tweaking and the new adaptive suspension system. The inner materials look to be even more upscale than before, and the vehicle has a more space-conscious design.
The only problem with the GLE is that you might get distracted by the ultra cool MBUX infotainment system. Other than that, you're going to get a great ride regardless of which trim level you buy. Still, it is important to know which features come standard with which trim level since you want to make sure the vehicle meets your needs. Also, bear in mind that the GLE comes as both a SUV and a Coupe. We will go over the SUV, but know that the Coupe, which has pretty much the same features, prices higher than the SUV.
That is why you should read through this comparison review. We will go through each trim level's specs and features and, at the end, give our opinion on which trim level is the best deal for the average buyer. Now, let's dig our heels in and find out which 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE trim level is right for you.
Compare the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 vs GLE 350 4MATIC. - What is the Difference?
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class starts off with the 350 SUV, which can be bought as a 4MATIC. The biggest distinction between is obviously that the 350 4MATIC is an all-wheel drive variant. Therefore, it is going to handle road conditions a bit better than the regular 350. They both get up to speed (going from 0 to 60 mph) in about 7 seconds, and the engine garners 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. This 2.0-L engine does require that you use premium unleaded gasoline. In the city, you can get about 20 mpg while on the highway, the vehicle garners 27 mpg. For an SUV of this size, those numbers are adequate enough. The 4MATIC's fuel economy is only slightly less, with 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
The 350 SUV comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission and is equipped with rear-wheel drive. It has a 4-wheel independent double wishbone front suspension, and selective damping comes with the multi-link rear suspension. The steering is a rack and pinion style that comes with electromechanical power assist that is dependent on speed. The vehicle rides atop 19-inch twin 5-spoke wheels adorned with all-season tires. The 4MATIC has the same set-up.
Note that the 4MATIC has a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds while that of the 350 SUV is not given. The trailer hitch is optional, so you will have to purchase that if you want to do any towing.
What about the exterior distinguishes these two variants from each other? Nothing, really. And that is okay. The 350 and 350 4MATIC SUVs are stunningly elegant in their revamped design. There are chic aluminum roof rails on top of the vehicle, and the rear windows are all treated to deeply-tinted privacy glass. This gives the back half of the cabin more privacy and comfort on those warm summer days.
On both trim levels, you can opt to add special AMG body styling, illuminated running boards, and seven different (and larger) wheel types. The AMG Line Exterior Package gives you the AMG body styling, 20-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels, and the sport braking system. If you want, you can add the Night Package to this for the gloss black exterior accents. The Exterior Lighting Package will give you adaptive high beam assist and the intelligent light system, which has ultra range high beams.
What about the interior? Well, this is basically the same too. This luxurious interior features a steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather (and with multiple controls mounted onto it), double sun visors, chic grey linden wood trim, an all-digital dashboard, a grab handle on each side of the center console, four massive center vents, a panoramic sunroof that is 50 percent bigger than the previous generation's sunroof, second-row seats that are power-adjustable, and the optional third row of seats.
You can opt for sport interior appointments, which are available in the AMG Line Interior Package. There are also options for a wood/leather-trimmed steering wheel, a sport steering wheel, a top-stitched MB-Tex upper dash and door trim, a top-stitched Nappa upper dash and door trim, brushed aluminum pedals, and a black DINAMICA headliner. The Premium Package is available for $1,850 and gives you a Burmester surround sound system, rear seat accessory adapters, 64-color LED ambient interior lighting, inductive wireless charging with NFC pairing, a complimentary 6-month all access trial to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and a household-type 115-volt power outlet. If you need extra heating, the Warmth & Comfort Package adds rapid heating for the front seats as well as heated arm rests and upper door panels.
Standard safety features include active brake assist, Mercedes-Benz emergency calling, attention assist, LED daytime running lights and taillights, LED headlights, trailer stability assist, blind spot assist, cross wind assist, Pre-Safe, Pre-Safe Sound, downhill speed regulation, smart key with keyless start, and automatically dimming rearview and side mirrors. You can opt for active steering assist, active lane change assist, speed limit assist, and more. But, really, the 350 and 350 4MATIC SUVs are already well-equipped with just the standard safety features.
As far as luxury goes, both vehicles have the same features. They come with power-adjustable front seats with 4-way power lumbar support and memory settings for the driver's seat, heated front seats, a power liftgate, hands-free access, keyless go, MB-Tex upholstery (which looks really expensive), a retractable luggage cover, brake hold, and a universal garage door opener. Options include ventilated front seats, Nappa leather upholstery, black MB-Tex/DINAMICA upholstery, sport front seats, a household-type 115-volt power outlet, and the new Energizing Comfort climate control system.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the vehicles' multimedia features. The new MBUX system comes standard, as do voice control with natural language comprehension, "Hey, Mercedes" keyword activation, a 12.3-inch infotainment display, a 12.3-inch digital cluster display, MB navigation, five USB-C ports, a hands-free Bluetooth interface, the FrontBass system, and smartphone app integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you want to spice it up a bit, go for the optional MBUX interior assistant, the head-up display, and in-vehicle WiFi.
Compare the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 4MATIC vs 450 4MATIC. - What is the Difference?
Upgrading to the 450 4MATIC SUV gets you some different features. First and foremost, it gets you a powerful 3.0-L inline-6 turbocharged engine with Eco Boost. This engine generates 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive is standard, and it is paired with the 9-speed automatic transmission. Its fuel economy is slightly lower than the 350 4MATIC, as it gets 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. It can get from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, which is quite good for this segment. Aside from the powertrain, expect to find other mechanical features to be the same as they are on the 350 4MATIC.
Standard safety features come in abundance on the 450 4MATIC SUV. You get rain-sensing windshield wipers, which can be a huge help during rainfall. Opt for the Pre-Safe Plus if you want extra protection for your rear seat passengers. This system is designed to protect those in the rear in the event of a rear-end collision. The Pre-Safe Impulse feature adds an extra layer of protection by reducing peak forces during a side-impact collision. There is also an optional surround-view camera system that lets you see what is going on all around your vehicle.
There are quite a few luxury features on the 450 4MATIC too. It gets everything that comes on the lower trims and has the same options available. The tech features are also pretty much the same. The touchpad controller is new; it is larger and easier to use. You basically rest your right hand on it (sorry, lefties, this might be inconvenient for you) while driving and use it much like how you would your smartphone.
Compare the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4MATIC vs AMG GLE 43. - What is the Difference?
The AMG GLE 43 SUV is a major step up in luxury... and price. Starting at just over $68,000, this vehicle takes a lot of what is on the 450 4MATIC and adds more luxurious features. It has the AMG-enhanced 3.0-L V6 bi-turbo engine which produces 385 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. It can get from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and has a fuel economy of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. It is paired with the AMG-enhanced 9-speed automatic transmission and has a lower towing capacity at 7,200 pounds. AMG dynamic select, an AMG sport-tuned suspension, and an AMG sport exhaust system are also equipped.
The AMG GLE 43 SUV's exterior is a bit fancier too. It has a lot of chrome adorning its front fascia and can be distinguished by its massive air intakes with mesh grilles and a black diffuser insert that is home to four chrome tailpipes. On the inside, you will find a lot of aluminum trim and unique AMG instrumentation. There is even a race timer for timing your laps around a race track! You can opt for add-ons like the gloss black accents on the exterior, two different DINAMICA headliners (porcelain or black), and three different 21-inch wheels.
Safety features are basically the same between these two vehicles, but you do get the option for magic vision control. This lets you see more clearly while using the windshield wipers. The luxury features are mostly the same too. Multimedia gets upgrades in the form of the COMAND system. There is also an in-dash DVD/CD player and SD card reader. You can opt to add rear seat entertainment for your passengers' delight. You get a standard Harman Kardon LOGIC7 sound system, which produces concert-like sound quality in the cabin.
Compare the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 43 vs AMG GLE 63. - What is the Difference?
The AMG GLE 63 SUV takes everything that is on the 43 and adds a powerful handcrafted AMG 5.6-L V8 bi-turbo engine. This engine musters up a massive 550 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle gets from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, but its fuel economy is low (13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway). The engine is paired with a 7G-tronic transmission and a 4MATIC drivetrain. The active curve system comes standard, as do 20-inch AMG multi-spoke wheels.
The surround view camera system gets standardized on the 63, as do the cup holders up front (which happen to be both heated and cooled), three years of Mercedes me Connected services, and five years of SiriusXM Traffic and Weather.
Compare the 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63 vs AMG GLE 63S. - What is the Difference?
Want even more power? The S version adds a 5.5-L V8 handcrafted biturbo engine that gets 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. Paired with the 7G-tronic transmission, the S gets from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and still manages the same fuel economy. It rides atop larger, 21-inch AMG cross-spoke wheels and has high-performance tires.
The sport interior appointments all come standard on this trim, as do red-painted brake calipers, a designo black DINAMICA headliner, and 14-way power-adjustable AMG sport front seats. However, most of what you get on the regular 63 carries over.
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Which Trim to Choose?With such an impressive line-up, it is hard to choose the best trim level. However, we think that the 350 is a fine choice, especially if you got for the 4MATIC. It has a lot of power and gets a decent enough fuel economy. If you do want to spend a bit more on features, go for the 450 4MATIC and and be selective with your add-on packages.